Picture note: Took this in Amsterdam over the winter break.
Why do you write? What drives you, motivates you, and inspires you to do it? As many of you know, it’s not an easy thing to do. You pour countless hours into something, that is essentially the summation of you as a person. For what?
Feel free to respond in the comments, in a DM, or whatever you find easiest. Maybe just think about it. No real structure here. I’ve found my answer to the question usually reaffirms my belief in what I’m doing:
I’ve found myself thinking about this a lot recently, especially with the new school and volunteer load. For those who I don’t personally know, I work a lot with big brothers/big sisters and a hospice/palliative program through the Mercy hospital systems. I’d being lying if I said those experiences didn’t influence my writing.
I think more than anything, though, I write for myself. It helps me create a different world, a different body, that I can escape to. This is weird, too, because I’m generally a horror writer. You wouldn’t generally consider my characters escapist, because terrible things happen to them! I think it’s a cathartic release though, it helps me return once I’m done. If it were all sunshine, I think when I returned to being me, it would be too hard. It’d make some of my issues more salient, make the anxiety/depression/whatever-it-may-be hit harder.
I think as authors, writers, and artists, we create to escape. By doing so, we often provide others with a way to escape, but there’s a difference in the level of escape. I hope a person reading my work would find entertainment and be able to relate in some way to my characters, but for me, I become the character in the scene. I very deliberately put myself in that situation, I feel what they feel, emotionally if not physically. A lot of times this has been painful. After particularly disturbing scenes, I’ve myself hating what I’ve just done as a certain character. A good example of this would be Ben from chapter 10 in the novel I’m writing, he is a disgusting piece of human refuse. But I still had to put myself in his shoes. I felt tainted for days, disgusted with what I did. Thank god that chapter was from the point of view of the victim, so I inherently related to her feelings more than Ben’s, but it’s also a strange thing to be literally hate yourself. It’s like there are more than one you, and the other you is just terrible, so you murder the other you. Writing characters can be weird like that, they cause emotions that seem unnatural upon reflection.
But I digress, the reason I write is to become something more than myself. To create something that might last, even if nobody reads it, even if nobody likes it, even if people think it’s sick. It’s me, and that matters, no matter what anyone else might think.